New laws: from bicycles to limousines


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With the New Year just around the corner, the California Highway

Patrol is reminding motorists of several new laws or changes to existing law that goes into effect

in 2014. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws that, unless otherwise

stated, go into effect on January 1, 2014.

AMBER Alert: Expansion (AB 535, Quirk): This law requires law enforcement to request

activation of the AMBER Alerts after receiving a report that a child has been taken abducted by

anyone, including a custodial parent or guardian, who may cause serious bodily injury or death

to the child.

Bicycles: Passing Distance (AB 1371, Bradford): This law prohibits motorists from passing a

bicycle with less than three feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or

driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent

speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine,

regardless of a collision or not. This law will go into effect September 16, 2014.

Charter Bus Carriers: Limousines: Emergency Exits (SB 109, Corbett): By January 1st,

2016, every limousine that has been modified or extended to accommodate additional passengers

shall have two rear doors and one or two internally removable rear emergency windows. If such

modifications occurred on or after July of 2015, these requirements apply immediately after July

1st, 2015. All new limousines manufactured after January 1st, 2015 must meet these requirements

as well.

High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (AB 266 / SB 286, Yee / Blumenfield): Together these laws

extend sunset dates for low emission, zero emission vehicles to operate in high occupancy

vehicle lanes (HOV) without meeting occupancy requirements to January 1, 2019.

Hit and Run: Statute of Limitations (AB 184, Gatto): This law extends the statute of

limitations for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result. A

criminal complaint may be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person

was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the commission of the offense, which

ever comes later, but in no case more than six years after the offense.

An Internationally Accredited Agency

Registration Fees: Vehicle Theft (AB 767, Levine): This law authorizes counties to increase

registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles to fund programs

related to vehicle theft crimes in those counties.

Search Warrants: Chemical Tests (SB 717, DeSaulnier): This amendment to current law

authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person in a reasonable,

medically approved manner, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provisions when

that person has refused an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test.

This law has been operative since September 20, 2013.

Teen Drivers (SB 194, Galgiani): This law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age

from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based

communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device.

For complete information on chaptered bills enacted in 2013, please refer to the Legislative

Counsel website at

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

AB535 What if you live in a county that is so on top of their game that they don’t even post the Amber alerts or know about them like Mono County or their Sheriff’s office?

Bob Loblaw
Bob Loblaw
9 years ago

Does this mean that bicyclists will get some sort of ticket for ignoring 4 feet of bike lane to ride right on the white line? Funny how the ones paying for the road (Gas Tax) get to use less and less of it.

9 years ago
Reply to  Bob Loblaw

Even if there was a law, half the bicyclists I’ve seen around the state of California ride down the sidewalk, going the wrong way and cross diagonal across lanes without signaling. I don’t mind bicyclists, as long as they yield to traffic, especially during rush hour.

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris

From the CA Vehicle Code: “21200. (a) A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway or roadway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago

Correction – Should have read: And “rush hour” has NO bearing on the law. I only post references to these laws because bicyclists and motorists would be much better served to know what the laws are. Cyclists should make every effort to obey the laws and motorists need to realize… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  Bob Loblaw

@Bob, I agree that cyclists should stay as far to the right as practicable – which is exactly what the current law says. Nothing new there. Regarding taxes…..The gas tax only funds roughly 40% of the costs of our roads. The remaining 60% comes from various other taxes that everyone… Read more »